>> live from berlin, this is your world news on dw. good to have you with us. >> very warm welcome. headlines for you at this hour -- >> russian president vladimir putin says kiev cutting off gasoline to ukraine reeks of genocide. >> we get a german lawmaker's take on a new bill. >> and berlin's bid to host the 2024 olympics. organizers are working to get the city's residence on board.
the guns in eastern ukraine were largely silent on wednesday, but the rhetoric 20 moscow and kiev is becoming more and more belligerent. >> while russia says that ukraine cutting off gas supplies to separatist held regions would be tantamount to genocide. the ukrainian gas authority says pipelines to those regions were damaged in the fighting but have since been repaired. >> both sides are now threatening to restrict access to gas supplies in the middle of winter. we'll get the latest from our correspondent in kiev and just a moment, but first, this report. >> no sooner was there a lull in fighting in eastern ukraine than the war of words between moscow and kiev intensified. russian president vladimir putin threatened to stop supplying ukraine with gas, saying the country had failed to make payments. but he also lashed out at ukraine for cutting off the gas supply to rebel held areas of the east.
>> there's famine there already and the osce has already said there's a humanitarian catastrophe there, and now they are cutting off gas supplies. it is starting to look like genocide. >> those strong words come as the wii gold cease-fire finally seems to be taking effect. -- the week old cease-fire finally seems to be taking effect. this could tip the balance back towards conflict. german chancellor angela merkel has called for call on both sides, but speaking after meetings with the swedish prime minister in berlin, she sent a warning to moscow. >> we favor diplomatic efforts, but we are also saying that we cannot rule out sanctions if things deteriorate. >> brussels is also alarmed at this new gas dispute, as it may jeopardize supplies to europe, too. >> for some analysis now let's
go to kiev. it sounds like access to gas supplies is being used as a weapon now. >> yes that is the case. russia certainly uses the gas issue to put some pressure on to ukraine. ukraine's economy is down. the currency is losing value at high speed, and the country is waiting for a huge international credit, so that's the perfect time to claim that the country has not paid enough or their gas. it always follows the same scheme. as soon as it gets quiet on the front line russia puts pressure on the economic side. >> what about the truce? separatist say they are pulling back heavy weapons. ukrainians say the separatist are simply regrouping. does anyone expect the cease-fire to now hold, or is this a low before the storm?
>> there is a glimmer of hope that the cease-fire will hold. there are some signs that the separatists are pulling back heavy weapons. colleagues in the east have seen artillery leaving the front line headed towards the russian border, but international observers stress that there is no real proof for the separatists being serious about this withdrawal. >> briefly what are we to make of the news that the u.k. and poland are to send military advisers to ukraine? >> the ukrainian army has not been in the best shape from the beginning, and the better part of the armed forces is made up of volunteers, volunteer battalions, certainly some of these volunteers are soldier-like, but basically, volunteer is just somebody who is willing to put on a makeshift uniform and head eastward.
they could certainly do with some training, but this brings new tensions as the rebels assess the new fighting. >> thank you very much. >> this latest energy face-off between kiev in the kremlin highlights europe's own vulnerability when it comes to energy security. the eu relies on russia for almost 1/numeral three of its natural gas supplies. >> today in another attempt to wean itself off natural gas, brussels unveiled one of its most ambitious plans so far -- the creation of an energy union. >> a mammoth task that will shake up 28 engine markets, but it's not a done deal. the european parliament and all member states still have to sign off on the plan. >> last october, the eu managed to help forge a deal over last deliveries.
many worried the agreement might not hold, but at least it got the gas flowing from russia into the ukraine again. the deal regulated ukraine's unpaid gas bills including advanced payments by kiev or future supplies. it also set a fixed price for gas that was acceptable to both sides. russia agreed to guarantee ukraine's supplies until march 2015. now russia says ukraine has not kept its word and has fallen behind on payments. ukraine, meanwhile, finds itself strapped for cash. in addition, if russia were to turn off the taps, the eu would be hit hard. the european union gets about 1/3 of its gas russia, while germany gets 37%. half of all the eu's rushing gas comes via ukraine -- russian gas comes via ukraine. that makes the block vulnerable to political blackmail. it's already working to ease its dependence on russian gas.
one suggestion calls on all 28 members to coordinate their delivery contracts with brussels in future. >> this is undoubtedly the most ambitious energy project in the european coal and steel community. it has the potential, i believe, to boost europe's integration project the same way that coal and steel did in the 1950's undermine the citizens of the great potential of the common european market. >> that could mean companies which were closely with russia's gas prom might be forced to coordinate orders with brussels in an energy union. >> the eu has given france two more years to bring its deficit back into line with budget rules. it's the third extension for the eurozone's second-biggest economy, and it means that rance avoids embarrassing fine. >> in theory, eurozone members is penalties if their deficit
stays above 3% of the economic output. parents will have to submit a new economic reform program to brussels. avalanches have killed more than 120 people in afghanistan. >> and many more are thought to be buried under the snow. >> heavy winter snows have affected mountainous regions in the northeast of the country. disaster relief officials say more than 100 homes have been destroyed. power cables have also been damaged, cutting off our -- power too much of kabul. the austrian parliament has passed legislation restricting foreign funding of legislations. the rule also requires that imams be able to speak german. >> austria's interior minister says the measures are aimed at combating the rise of radical islam, many muslims say they are being single out and see the move as an attack on their
religious freedom. >> some 250 muslims turned out to demonstrate in of austria's parliament. many belong to the network muslim civil society. it was set up last october to discuss the governing coalition 's plan for a new islam law. members feel that they are being discriminated against. they say that they lob marginalizes the muslim community rather than promoting integration. these young muslims reject any form of state control over their religion. >> in austria, all muslims are treated with leighton suspicion and that is reflected in this law. it also touches on many aspect of security policy. >> what's worse is the tone that the law. -- that the law adopts, the fact that it expresses things that go without saying, things that are already encoded in law without endangering the public order or the health of citizens or whatever. >> the new law obliges public
institutions to offer food in line with muslim regulations. islamic holidays will also be recognized, although the legislation stops short of making them paid public holidays. controversially, the legislation also prohibits or in ending for moms from 2016. opponents with the country's constitutional court to investigate if that in inches on the right to equal treatment before the law. the government has dismissed these concerns. >> the law is not an anti-terror law, and it is not a lot to tackle islam a phobia. it's a law or the muslim -- for the muslim community for islam in austria. >> it remains to be seen what impact the law will have on austrian muslims. >> what's behind this controversial new build that amends a century-old law on islam? let's get the take on this now from a member of the german parliament for the green party.
a very warm welcome to the "journal," sir. you dedicated much of your work to immigration policies. what is your take on this new law? do you think it guards muslim rights or do you share some of the concerns voiced by muslims? >> first, i have my doubts if that bill is going to solve the problems we are facing on a daily basis. the aim of the bill is mostly to have state regulated islam, and there is no such thing. if you try to regulate islam in a secular state by a bill, it will definitely cause problems and it will not bring the people you are targeting into the debate. that is the problem of the bill. >> germany has similar legislation. what is different here you can >> the difference here -- they into deeply into religion.
they tell them what to do and what not to do, and these are religious issues, which is not the task of the state, especially not on a secular state. there is no problem if the state want to educate their imams or if a state wants to have religious teachings in schools and so on and had teachers for that but this goes into the religion itself, and that is why many, many muslims in austria are against the bill. if the people, the religious people, the muslims in austria are against the bill from the beginning and there is a problem, you have to find the ground where you can get the people in, so they both contribute and they will accept it, and they will identify themselves that there is no new build.
>> thank you very much for sharing your perspectives with us. >> you are welcome. >> if you want to find out more about this new islam bill introduced in austria, just head to our website, www.dw.de. it's time now to get a check of the business headlines. to bring us up to speed with all the action is stephan will at the anchorage stock exchange. >> first of all, it's very good news if you're an investor's -- it's very good news if foreign investors are interested in the german economy. this shows the strength of the german economy in general and the act that german firms are in pretty good condition. on the other hand, these takeovers may also lead to some takeovers, which is not wanted by most german companies. the market in general today has shown not much movement after the record highs which the dax reached yesterday. the dax took a little break.
>> let's get you up to speed now with how stocks fared on wednesday. staying in frankfurt, the dax finished the session at 11,210 yet another record hosing high on europe's leading blue-chip index. the euro stoxx 50 dropped five 15%. trading is still under way on wall street. a currency markets, the euro, dollar sign1.1356. >> the greek government has suspended all top football matches in the country indefinitely. >> the decision comes after serious crowd unrest interrupted at a super league game between fierce local rivals. >> on tuesday, officials from the clubs ended up in a brawl. clubs have been told the suspension will only be lifted once they provide more sec ticketing. we'll be back in a minute with
>> welcome back. 2014 was a catastrophic year. >> that's how human rights watchdog amnesty international describes the year in a scathing report describing the treatment of citizens in the majority of the world's countries. >> the group points its finger directly at the un security council's five permanent members using their veto power to block international intervention when mass atrocities take place. >> as long as the big five do not give up their veto right amnesty says the international community will they'll to protect people around the world caught up in conflict situations -- the international community will fail to protect people around the world caught up in conflict situations. >> killings and rapes are their
trademarks. their victims -- ordinary people. in iraq, islamic state has kidnapped and tortured thousands of civilians. >> they have met dozens of women and girls who have managed to escape and who had told me absolutely horrendous stories. some of them are as young as 13, 14. they were worst to be married to some of the islamic state fighters. they were raped. they were tortured in a variety of ways. >> such violence has triggered a humanitarian disaster. last year, amnesty international says there were 57 million displaced people worldwide. more than at any other time since world war ii. it is calling on rich countries to step up their efforts to help and open their borders to refugees. >> the main point we are making in our report is that the response from the international community and those who could potentially stop this from continuing has been abysmal. in fact, shameful.
>> until more is done to end the misery, civilians will continue to be the main casualties of the world's conflicts. >> we talk about freedom of expression and people who have suffered political persecution. one name that comes to mind. >> the saudi arabian writer, activist and blogger who was sentenced last year to 1000 lashes in 10 years. in prison for criticizing the saudi religious and political elite and calling for reforms. >> the first 50 of those lashes were carried out in january. now he has been awarded deutsche welle's freedom of speech award. >> on his website, free saudi liberals he supported freedom of speech and saudi arabia. last november, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for insulting islam and founding a liberal website. this video shows his first and so far only public flogging in
early january. his punishment has prompted worldwide protests such as here in front of the saudi in december than. protesters are demanding he be freed. >> no flogging or blogging -- f or blogging! >> dw's new freedom of speech award is designed to honor the courage and sacrifice of activists. >> is a very courageous man, and we want to help with this award so that also other people can contribute more to the freedom of speech in the world and we hope also that we can change a bit the situation he is in now. >> in the face of threats his wife and three children fled saudi arabia and have since found asylum in canada. in a skype interview him her home, she told dw she considers
the award to be an important political signal. >> for me, it sends the message that it is scandalous that the saudi government is still holding him. he has been in jail for two years and eight months now. it is an absolute travesty that saudi arabia has demeaned and logged him and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. while people in the outside world look up to him. >> the case could be helped by the loud international criticism . the freedom of speech award will be presented in june as part of dw's online activism awards. >> in the u.s., mn has been found guilty of murder for the shooting death of an iraq war veteran and another man at a texas gun range.
>> the case attracted nationwide attention because the murdered soldier became famous for writing memoirs about his time in iraq. chris kyl's book served as the basis for the oscar-nominated hollywood lock buster "american sniper" -- chris kyle's book served as the basis for the oscar-nominated hollywood blockbuster "american sniper." >> the film was a hit with audiences and won an oscar for best sound editing. but kyle's life came to a violent end when he and a friend were killed at a texas shooting range in february 2013. the jews gun man -- the accused gun man was a fellow veteran described as troubled. kyle invited him on the gun outing after the man's mother asked him to reach out. defense lawyers argued that ralph was mentally ill, but prosecutors said he knew right
from wrong. jurors agreed and delivered a guilty verdict read out by the judge. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty for the felony offense of capital murder as charged in the indictment. >> the family of the other man killed expressed relief at the conviction. >> we just want to say that we've waited two years for god to get justice to us on behalf of our son, and as always, god has proved to be faithful, and we are so thrilled that we have the verdict that we have tonight. >> prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. instead, the 27 year old was given an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.
>> well, some sports news now and he was a question for you -- will be hosting the summer olympics in nine years' time? it you asked the organizers of berlin's bid for the 2024 games the answer is clear -- it's german capital. >> but there are still a long would it go. the city has to convince the german and international committee that it's the best choice for the games. then it has to get the people of the city behind the idea.+ >> they currently sway between we want the games and don't waste my money. >> olympic enthusiasm at the push of a button -- that's what organizers of berlin's bid for the 2024 games are hoping for. so far, their campaign has barely convinced half the city's inhabitants to back the mega event. >> the olympics are great at the end of the day, and we will see that it we host them.
>> i'm not bothered. the fuss around the limb is to commercial and artificial for me. >> it would be brilliant. the world cup here was fantastic. >> robert harding the discus star is just one athlete who calls berlin home. the city has hosted the athletics world championships. tens of thousands visit for the annual berlin marathon. plus, the city boasts top football, handball, volleyball and basketball teams. >> i think if you consider the success and the sheer number of teams here that few cities in europe compared to berlin. you must have over 120 clubs in the top flight of their respective sports. >> berlin would aim to host a compact olympics, utilizing many of the city's existing venues. the most famous of those is the olympic stadium with what of sports' most storied arenas. >> olympics took place in august
1936. 49 nations came to berlin, more than ever before but there was a dark cloud over the games. >> the nazis staged a seemingly perfect event. it was, though, a facade for a regime that had already begun in turning and murdering political opponents. war was only three years away. >> the knots is wanted to appear as apolitical and cosmopolitan as possible. the radio was told not to play military music, and they asked troops to where civilian clothes rather than uniforms whenever possible. >> the star of the games was america's jesse owens, who won for athletics gold. germany's jewish athletes, meanwhile, were prevented from competing. today a street knew the stadium
is named after the now 100-year-old woman. any new games in berlin will have to confront that difficult past. >> to be continued. soccer's international governing body says it will not compensate clubs or leagues for losses resulting on the 2022 world cup in qatar being moved from summer to winter. >> the fee for secretary conceded -- the fifa secretary said it is not perfect but said it clubs have seven years to reorganize their schedules. finally, in two nights champions league matches, due to start shortly, arsenal are tipped to win the first leg of their last 16 tie. >> y leverkusen are in the middle of a difficult run. they have only won one of their last bundesliga games.
they face a tough time against last year's champions league finalist with their top form strikers. >> just to be cut before we go, a deal has finally been done. eurozone foreman ministers have approved the greek they allowed extension, so a possible crisis is still being averted. >> we'll be back at the top of the hour with another update of the headlines. for now, thanks for watching. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]